It was a big ugly print. I had bought it as a side note in an estate sale about seven or eight years ago and was tempted to toss it in the trash several times. Just not my thing.
And so I was a bit befuddled and pleasantly surprised when I saw an image of said print on a website yesterday and found out that it was actually a David Hockney aquatint and etching from 1969. The Lake.
I went through my catacombs this afternoon and found the large godawful thing. Bingo, same image. Unfortunately I am not sure if it is an eighteen hundred dollar print or a ten thousand dollar print and won't know until I open it up at my framers on Tuesday. See which edition it is from, the signed or the open?
In any case, it is found money. I misplaced a Georg Jensen brooch this week and this will ease the hurt a little bit. I am good with whatever comes down, I assure you. Grateful even.
I got my second shot last night and was feeling pooped. Made good progress on the auction spreadsheet today but finally had nothing left. So I went home.
But I got to thinking about Hockney and the people that buy them. Rich people that want to be in a certain group. I don't think much of either his line or brush work, I like D.J. Hall's pool paintings much better but who asked me?
Anyway a Hockney story:
Many years ago I was invited to Lucinda Watson's birthday party at a tony retreat in Marin. My friend was her personal chef at the time. Watson was the IBM heiress. I am seated next to a couple at the dinner and told them that I was an art dealer.
"We are looking for a Hockney," they proclaimed in a throaty, regal tone. "Well, you have come to the right place," I said. "I was just offered a great early landscape (ed: when he was good) and I can let you have it for $80,000." This was a chunk of change but cheap for a Hockney. And I had been offered a very salable painting the day before.
The woman looked at me and sniffed like I had stabbed her. "We are going to spend at least a half a million." She wouldn't say another word to me the whole night because I had insulted her by trying to give her a good deal on a painting. Didn't even want to look at an image. Horrors and egads. She wanted to spend big money, probably because her friends had. I guess I learned something. It's not about the artwork, it is about the country club obviously.
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